Singer, spoken-word poet, writer, actress -- creativity is at Jill Scott’s core. The multi-talented, three-time Grammy Award winner and star of the upcoming film Baggage Claim is now putting the finishing touches on her latest studio release, The Lullaby Album, available in December. "It’s made for children and adults who have insomnia," she says. "It’s filled with positive affirmations." For those who prefer to remain wide awake, Scott, 41, is also collaborating with hip-hop artist Too Short on some brasher beats she describes as "a combination of ‘50s, ‘60s, and super-hero. This album’s a super-hero soup!" Here, the VH1 Diva, Los Angeles resident, and single mom to son Jett, 4, shares the secrets to her success -- and no surprise, such insight starts with the importance of good health.
How do you tap into creativity? Do you have any personal rituals?
By Ann Hodgman
One woman's diary
I said to my daughter, "You know what I just can't stand about this
book? The long passages with no dialogue." -
She paused, then said, "Mom, are there any books you like
Now it was my turn to pause. How could she ask that, when everyone knows how
much I love to read? But then again, when had I last complimented a book — even
one I admired? Come to think of it, how often did I say anything without a
negative twist? I don't want my tombstone...
I love being creative. I don’t abuse it. I’m patient and I wait for it. I try my best to sleep a full 8 hours if I can. I keep a pen and journal by my bed. I jot down my dreams, look through the book, and grab whatever idea strikes me at the moment and work on it. It might be the beginning of a play, an opera, a screenplay, a song, a poem, or just remodeling my house! I don’t know what’s going to come, but I honor it. Do I get a full 8 hours most nights? No ... I have a 4-year-old!
You juggle multiple projects across disciplines. How do you avoid burnout?
I ride my bike for 8 to 10 miles pretty much every day. I don’t have any concerns on my bike, except for watching traffic and staying on it. I look at scenery and people’s homes, or maybe the water or the trees. It’s a real escape for me. Sometimes I’ve ridden for 20 miles and I don’t know it until I have rubber bands for legs, particularly when something heavy is on my mind.